Olson Construction Law Achieves Vindication for Iowa Contractor in Differing Site Conditions Case

Jenco Construction, Inc. v. City of Des Moines Contracting Authority
Iowa District Court Case No. LACL132674


[DES MOINES, IOWA, May 11, 2018]
In 2015 the City of Des Moines voted to prevent Jenco Construction, Inc. from bidding or working on City projects for a period of three years. The City claimed that Jenco had failed to deliver quality and timely work on the Grand Avenue bridge project. While the project did not open as scheduled, Jenco argued that the delays were a result of unforeseen conditions located at the project site, and the Project Engineer’s failure to conduct a site investigation when informed of the conditions. When Jenco was disqualified, Vice President Bradley Jensen was quoted by the Des Moines Register as stating “The truth will come out. We will be vindicated.”

On May 9, 2018, an Iowa jury returned a unanimous verdict awarding damages in favor of Jenco Construction, Inc. in a breach of contract case against the City of Des Moines Contracting Authority. Attorneys Thomas R. Olson and Rielly J. Lund represented the contractor at trial.

The case involved a differing site conditions claim on a bridge replacement project in the City of Des Moines. The contractor argued that it encountered boulders and concrete during construction of the bridge, neither of which were shown or indicated in the contract documents. While the City made a multitude of arguments in an attempt to escape liability (including, but not limited to, allegations that the contractor failed to follow the proper procedures for its claim and allegations that the contractor should have somehow known about the boulders and concrete at the time of its bid), the jury ultimately awarded the contractor nearly $1,000,000.00 in damages.

The attorneys at Olson Construction Law have significant experience securing compensation for contractors who encounter differing site conditions. They are very pleased with the outcome of this case and are committed to helping contractors obtain monies when the owner improperly denies a valid claim under the terms of the contract.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Thomas Olson, Esq. at 651-230-9889, or trolson@oc-law.com.
In the public construction industry, change is inevitable. Dealing with change incorrectly or not at all can be a costly mistake. At Olson Construction Law, our goal is to work with contractors proactively to manage project change, minimizing unexpected project costs, maximizing profits, and limiting liability for under-designed projects.

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